CFO Jay Rasulo: Bob Chapek Driving 'Fundamental Change' at Disney Consumer Products5 Dec, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Little more than a year after being named worldwide president of Disney Consumer Products, Bob Chapek — former president of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment — has restructured the division to emulate the company’s overall focus on franchise themes with enduring commercial value, CFO Jay Rasulo told an investor group.
Disney Consumer Products is responsible for licensing the company’s iconic brands (including Mickey and Minnie Mouse) at retail, including gifts, toys, movie discs, apparel, publishing and English-speaking ventures in China, as well as overseeing Disney Stores in the United States, Japan and Europe.
With the winter holidays in full swing, the consumer products division is key to retailers migrating shoppers toward Disney branded products.
Speaking Dec. 5 at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York, Rasulo said Chapek revamped the division internally with managers responsible for particular Disney brands instead of product categories.
“Someone woke up every day [this year] worried about the Disney Princess franchise, the Cars franchise, the Toy Story franchise, etc.,” Rasulo said.
The CFO said personnel worked with retail experts focusing on selling, marketing, stocking housewares, toys, apparel and gifts within each Disney franchise team. In addition, Chapek integrated Disney’s revamped company-wide retail interface, which included not only consumer products, but also distribution of anything physical like movie DVDs and video games.
Rasulo said that the internal organization chart reports to Chapek, who has longstanding connections to studios though home entertainment and Disney interactive. Those franchise teams plan strategies 12 to 24 months in advance with major retailers such as Walmart, Target and Toys R Us.
“We see a big opportunity in taking Disney content … and building a good future in the digital world,” Rasulo said.
Indeed, consumer products reported a 17% increase in operating profit of $722 million (from $618 million last year) based on a 7% rise in revenue of $3.2 billion ($3 billion) in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30.